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Letter: Remember the meaning of Memorial Day

Published: Friday, May 24, 2013 4:15 p.m. CDT

To the Editor: It's a sacred day to all war veterans and none need to be reminded of the reason that Memorial Day must be commemorated. But what about the general public, and more importantly, future generations?

Do most non-veterans really recognize the importance of the day honoring their fellow Americans killed in the war? Judging from what Memorial Day has become – simply another day off from work – the answer is a resounding 'no.'

Perhaps a reminder is due. It should be the duty of each veteran to relay the message. Sacrifice is meaningless without remembrance.

Far too often, the nation as a whole takes for granted the freedoms all Americans enjoy. Those freedoms were paid for with the lives of others few of us actually knew.

By honoring the nation's war dead, we preserve their memory and thus their service and sacrifice in the memories of future generations. They came from all walks of life and regions of the country. But they all had one thing in common: Love and loyalty to America.

Means of tribute vary. Pausing for a few moments of personal silence is available to everyone. Attending patriotic ceremonies is the most visible way of demonstrating remembrance. Placing flags at gravesites, marching in parades – all this should be instilled in our youth to remember and pass on.

As America's older war veterans disappear from society's landscape, the enduring relevance of Memorial Day should be clearly evident. With two wars underway, the public has no excuse not to remember.

W. Glenn Cross Elmhurst

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